SUNNYVALE, Calif. (May 30, 2000) - If early season momentum offers hints of what is to come, then Dorricott Racing might be again charting a championship course as its talented three-driver team prepares for the famed Milwaukee Mile and ...
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (May 30, 2000) - If early season momentum offers hints of what is to come, then Dorricott Racing might be again charting a championship course as its talented three-driver team prepares for the famed Milwaukee Mile and round two of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Sunday, June 4.
The 100 lap/103.2 mile Indy Lights sprint is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. (CT) and is the primary weekend support race to the Miller Lite 225 CART FedEx Championship Series race later that day.
Jason Bright, of Gold Coast, Australia, will make his first appearance at Milwaukee while sitting alone in second place in the series standings with 16 points. Bright, who started third at the season opener at Long Beach, craftily scored a second place finish. If his April 16th results at Long Beach offer any glimpse of his capabilities, then a solid performance on Milwaukee's fast paced short-oval will fairly distinguish him as a title contender.
Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., has been one of Indy Lights' most consistent performers since joining Dorricott Racing last season. After finishing fifth place at Long Beach this year, a trip to the top of Milwaukee's podium is his only focus this weekend. Mears is fifth in the driver standings with 10 points.
Mears came ever so close in last year's race when he finished second place. He even assume the championship lead with 50 points in what was then the fourth round. It marked the first time that Dorricott Racing had ever led the Indy Lights championship.
However, to appreciate how potent Mears and Dorricott Racing could be at Milwaukee, a retrospection of last year is in order. Disaster lurked in a variety of corners throughout race weekend, but none greater than when the Mears' crew discovered a blown cylinder in the motor during the pre-race warm-up. That started a mad dash crew scramble to fully replace the broken motor with a new one - and very little precious time to do so. "We lost a cylinder during the final laps of the warm-up session," said Mears. "We didn't even know how bad it was at the time because I was already slowing. We didn't know we were facing a last minute motor replacement situation until a little later when the crew began running their engine check. It was remarkable how the entire team became involved in changing the motor. It just wasn't my crew. All the crew members from all three Dorricott cars came together and did an amazing job."
Mears, who qualified sixth with a time of 0:25.262 = 147.067 mph, was literally rolled onto the track as the rest of a 19-car field had been given the command to "start" their engines. He was permitted to assume his starting position by blending into the field as it began its parade laps. Mears positioned and advanced throughout the race but had to hold off a charging Tony Renna in the final 17 laps to earn second consecutive top-three and fourth consecutive top-five finishes.
Townsend Bell, of Costa Mesa, Calif., started 10th at Long Beach and was running strong in his Indy Lights debut before ill fortune swallowed him on his seventh lap. French driver Soheil Ayari, who was running 11th, misread his entry into a mid-course turn and struck the left rear side of Bell's DirecPC Lola to literally "punt" Bell out of the race. Bell was able to avoid wall contact but the car stalled. Bell was unable to re-start and was saddled with a 17th place finish. Ayari continued to pit lane with minimal damage but retired from the race nonetheless.
ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of the Milwaukee Indy Lights race, Sunday, June 4, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT).
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif., and its corporate office based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com.